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Consumers in 2013 are seeking a return to life’s basics, to be in harmony with nature. Taking time to smell the roses may be more than just a cliché for 2013. Positive energy and “happy-nomics” are also part of the 2013 success matrix.

In the sustainability arena, consumers are quite savvy about repurposing and up-cycling. They are looking for similar and transparent corporate values that align with their green thinking.

On the business front, for every $100 you have budgeted for marketing, how about directing $80 toward a charity or philanthropic cause, and $20 toward broadcasting your good deed? This is a trickle-down marketing strategy put in place by larger corporate trailblazers and it is gaining traction because consumers value businesses that give back both locally and globally.

With the world’s continually growing water woes, plants that require minimal water are definitely trendy. Succulents, cactus and native plants have all gained more than average time in the consumer spotlight. Cisterns and other rain harvesters as well as micro-irrigation controllers are also on the radar screens of savvy gardeners.

Consumers are wearing their environmentalist badges, craving a connection to Mother Nature and her bounty. Participation in local community-supported agriculture groups and home “foraging” in their edible gardens, of whatever size, is on the rise. Appeal to this earthy interest by offering products that help consumers build their garden skills while you build confidence with them. It also builds dollars for you.

Cyber Monday is now Cyber Everyday. The power of mobile devices can no longer be ignored. As Gen Y is emerging as the new power buyer generation, it’s imperative your business is adept at technology and the art of mobile devices. Does Siri know who you are? And if not, why not? Embracing social media is a great first step, but you must go beyond that to stay at the fingertips of buyers with the most disposable income.

Pantone recently released its fashion color report for spring and most of the 10 spotlighted colors bear nature-inspired names. Look for Tender Shoots, a limey green said to mark the first signs of spring. It is paired with other naturals like Poppy Red, Nectarine, Lemon Zest, African Violet, Grayed Jade, Dusk Blue, Linen and Emerald.

With many green-thinking consumers fully immersed in sustainable lifestyle choices and the benefits of houseplants becoming clearer to the average consumer, interest in houseplants is growing and their benefits of filtering indoor air are being enjoyed by many. It’s purposeful gardening, both inside and out.        

In the floral arena, the living arrangement is on the up-trend: Kitchen herb arrangements, air-filtering houseplants and many forms of miniature gardening sit at the top of consumer demands. The green industry is in vogue. Ensure your products are fun, unique and inspiring and the consumers will respond.

Jennifer Nelis is director of public relations and marketing for the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association. Ms. Nelis can be reached at 800/375-3642 or